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  1. #1

    Cool The Tragedy of Darth Plagueis Cancelled!

    Rebelscum reported that the novel that was to be penned by my favorite Star Wars writer James Luceno (Labrynth of Evil, etc.) was to be cancelled.

    I have mixed feelings about this.

    At first, I was terribly disappointed, as Luceno is the best there is:

    Labrynth of Evil - Mace Windu
    Cloak of Deception - Qui-Gon Jinn
    Hero's Trial - Han Solo
    Jedi Eclipse - Luke Skywalker
    Dark Lord - Darth Vader

    There is so much he's done that reigns for the quality in the Expanded Universe. I looked forward to him telling the story of the Young Palpatine at last.

    I am very disturbed that something might have happened to him, or his relationship with Del Rey or Lucasfilm. I hope that nothing like this is the case, but really want to know what is occuring with him and why the book was cancelled. Worse than anything above would be that sales of Star Wars books have dramatically declined."Darth Bane: Path of Destruction" was one of the best books I've read in recent times. Doing the "Legacy" series might or might not constitute a marketing success. Of that I'm not certain. But I buy those books as well, as I did with Timothy Zahn's latest SW entry: "Allegiance."

    But on a second look, that Luceno might have surrendered this project, leaves open a great opportunity. The subject matter of Palpatine's training as a Sith Lord and his rise to prominence on Naboo, King Veruna's removal from office, Amidala's should-have-been-suspect-election, and everything that transpired before that, would be my ideal subject to write about myself. I would pattern a story very similarly to the historical fiction novel I'm writing now. I would have to be invited to write for Star Wars, as I've attempted to "break in" before to no satisfying result. However, my very "adult" novel I'm writing now is not a typical Del Rey friendly title (as they favor all-audiences accessible science fiction / fantasy) and I'm crafting something closer to American Psycho that's very "NC-17."

    But Darth Plagueis would be my dream Star Wars subject matter and I'm well-versed in all the Expanded Universe matters that relate to the Sith Lord, including his prior contact with Durge. I also am clear about how I'd introduce the future Darth Maul as he begins his Sith training.

    Yes indeed I have a very clear idea of what I'd want to do with Palpatine. It's a pity that we could never find out what Luceno would have done, but I'm not half bad myself. I'll tell you this stirred my ambition again as it's 2:30 in the A.M. and I'm up working on my novel again!
    BAD Pts Need: R5-C7 lf leg (x2), , R4-P44 right leg BAD Pts Offered For Trade: PM me - I have lots of parts now including BG-J38!. New Kyle Katarn is also available.

  2. #2
    One of two things, either Lucas himself stepped in because he doesn't know where the TV show is going to go, or this was the long planned April Fools Joke for the folks at starwars.com.
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  3. #3
    In any case, that is one less bit of EU!
    [FONT=Book Antiqua]He passes to Moses - He shoots, he scores![/FONT]
    Mummy of the raincoat is a gigantic trollop.
    DOMINATE!


  4. #4
    Sad. This was one I was really looking forward to. Given that I stopped bothering with the travesty that is Legacy, and that appears to be all they're putting out now, I guess that's more of my money they won't be getting.
    Tommy, close your eyes.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Rocketboy View Post
    In any case, that is one less bit of EU!
    Why do you hate the EU so much?

    Do you read any books at all?

    What is that much greater about George Lucas? (If anything) than real published authors (Lucas is basically a production manager, concept creater, passive movie director).

    Don't you get bored with 6 episodes and that's it?

    Quote Originally Posted by pbarnard
    One of two things, either Lucas himself stepped in because he doesn't know where the TV show is going to go, or this was the long planned April Fools Joke for the folks at starwars.com.
    Doubtful on both counts: Sue Rostoni posted on March 27, and indicated a full schedule for publication, as well as the fact that James Luceno will still be contracted with by Del Rey, though for Star Wars, we don't know (likely though). If it was an April Fool's joke, it would be early, and lacked the required "Adventures of JarJar Binks" or "Exploits of the Ice Cream Maker Guy" titles that someone on a lot of drugs might find funny.

    Furthermore, by ROTS, Palpatine indicated that Darth Plagueis was dead for sure, but it's clearly presumable that he died long before TPM. The two TV shows (I've heard before that there could be 3, but attributed it to Lucas or someone else mis-speaking, moreso than concrete plans of any kind) are to be Clone Wars (CGI) and post-ROTS. For the latter, Darth Plageuis would have no conceivable bearing unless they touch on Vader's training, which I was led to believe they would not be. That would also bring Ian McDiarmid to television, and I'm not sure the Shakespearean actor / producer would go there. The Darth Plageuis stuff would have to be done in flashback because of the time frame. While that could be interesting, I was under the impression that the series would be about second-string characters, not principals.

    Next, during the Clone Wars, it would be a huge revelation if we were to find out that Darth Plagueis was actually still alive and Palpatine kills him just prior to events in ROTS. For that to work, Palpatine must still be the actual apprentice. It is the Sith way for masters to use their apprentices as their primary underlings. It was obvious how Palpatine used Darth Maul. Dooku stood a chance of betraying Palpatine and becoming the leader of the galaxy were the Separatists successful. But wouldn't it be another surprise if Dooku wasn't actually the apprentice, but only was allowed to think that he was? In any case, it was brilliant work on Palpatine's part to learn his Master created Anakin, probably to be the ultimate Sith Lord, then Palpatine co-opts Anakin and uses him to kill Dooku, while Palpatine kills Plagueis, and sets up the situation where he will own Anakin as his apprentice (though the Vader accident on Mustafar gives him a lot less than what he bargained for, until he learns he can possibly replace Vader with Luke).

    There's some cool things you can twist out of the Sith. Anyway, that wasn't the story idea I'd run with, but one viable alternative.
    BAD Pts Need: R5-C7 lf leg (x2), , R4-P44 right leg BAD Pts Offered For Trade: PM me - I have lots of parts now including BG-J38!. New Kyle Katarn is also available.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Tycho View Post
    Why do you hate the EU so much?


    Furthermore, by ROTS, Palpatine indicated that Darth Plagueis was dead for sure, but it's clearly presumable that he died long before TPM. The two TV shows (I've heard before that there could be 3, but attributed it to Lucas or someone else mis-speaking, moreso than concrete plans of any kind) are to be Clone Wars (CGI) and post-ROTS. For the latter, Darth Plageuis would have no conceivable bearing unless they touch on Vader's training, which I was led to believe they would not be. That would also bring Ian McDiarmid to television, and I'm not sure the Shakespearean actor / producer would go there. The Darth Plageuis stuff would have to be done in flashback because of the time frame. While that could be interesting, I was under the impression that the series would be about second-string characters, not principals.

    Next, during the Clone Wars, it would be a huge revelation if we were to find out that Darth Plagueis was actually still alive and Palpatine kills him just prior to events in ROTS. For that to work, Palpatine must still be the actual apprentice. It is the Sith way for masters to use their apprentices as their primary underlings. It was obvious how Palpatine used Darth Maul. Dooku stood a chance of betraying Palpatine and becoming the leader of the galaxy were the Separatists successful. But wouldn't it be another surprise if Dooku wasn't actually the apprentice, but only was allowed to think that he was? In any case, it was brilliant work on Palpatine's part to learn his Master created Anakin, probably to be the ultimate Sith Lord, then Palpatine co-opts Anakin and uses him to kill Dooku, while Palpatine kills Plagueis, and sets up the situation where he will own Anakin as his apprentice (though the Vader accident on Mustafar gives him a lot less than what he bargained for, until he learns he can possibly replace Vader with Luke).

    There's some cool things you can twist out of the Sith. Anyway, that wasn't the story idea I'd run with, but one viable alternative.
    No, but it limits a flashback episode where Palpy in some capacity can reflect on his former master.

    People who hate the EU should have to go through what any other writer goes through: rejection, editing and revising. Most of the stuff you think you can put out that would be better would be torn to shreds by an editing process and shatter your fragile ego. That and since most out there aren't published, they would never be picked up by Lucasbooks anyways since their second rule after having a literary agent is to be previous published.
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  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Tycho View Post
    Why do you hate the EU so much?
    First of all: The killed Chewie by hitting him with a rock (yes, I know it was a moon/planet/grapefruit/whatever, but that doesn't make it any less stupid). Second: almost all of it is so amazingly f*cking boring.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tycho View Post
    Do you read any books at all?
    I love reading books. But if you meant SW books, I have made the mistake of reading several:
    *Shadows of the Empire (which many people don't like) is the only one I really like and I felt truly captured the feeling of the movies. Just started reading it for probably the 7th or 8th time the other day.
    *Dark Lord was just OK. Everyone character other than Vader was boring.
    *The prequel novelizations were bland, especially the PT ones - it felt like 2/3 of each book was Anakin whining about Padme (not that I blame him. Giggity!). ROTS was especially annoying because of the EU carp like Ventress being mentioned repeatedly.
    *Tales of Jabba's Palace and Tales of the Bounty Hunters were fun reads and they were also pretty stupid (IG-88 and Dengar's stories for example).
    *I still do read Last of the Jedi for some reason. I guess I want to see how it ends. I liked it up until Obi-Wan was no longer the focus.
    *I couldn't even finish Heir to the Empire. Very overrated, IMO.
    *Rogue Planet and The Approaching Storm were really bad also.
    *The Legacy comic isn't too bad but it can be tough to follow because I didn't follow the events of the post-Jedi novels (even though Dark Horse said it wasn't necessary - I disagree).

    Quote Originally Posted by Tycho View Post
    What is that much greater about George Lucas? (If anything) than real published authors (Lucas is basically a production manager, concept creater, passive movie director).
    The movies are fun. The books (in general) are not.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tycho View Post
    Don't you get bored with 6 episodes and that's it?
    More and more the answer is yes. I even was bored with Clone Wars (especially volume 2). And as much as I liked the PT, I'm getting bored with them (and most of Star Wars in general), so I guess it's almost 3 episodes and that's it.
    [FONT=Book Antiqua]He passes to Moses - He shoots, he scores![/FONT]
    Mummy of the raincoat is a gigantic trollop.
    DOMINATE!


  8. #8
    Rocketboy - very good and honest answers. I want to continue the discussion with you with 10 questions. Note it's a discussion, not really an argument, but you also know I love to debate things and can't stand leaving any stoned unturned. It's just me.

    1) So did you continue reading NJO after Chewie was killed? A lot of it was pretty drawn out, but things like Anakin Solo's death had major impact on the characters and made it continue to fascinate me.

    2) Also, do you think that these characters, in their early 20's (save for Han in his early 30's) in the OT, could continue living out their lives as dangerously as they did in the flims for another 20 years or so, and none of them get themselves killed? In my opinion, killing somebody was realistic.

    3) Also, two trilogies set a pattern for Star Wars focusing on characters in their early 20's and early 30's (Luke, Leia, Han), (Anakin, Padme, Obi-Wan). Do you think it would hold the readers' interest to focus on 40-50-somethings in the future (again, with no tragedy ever really touching them?)

    4) Would you have preferred there being no continuity? That is a new story about Luke in his 20's published every 3-6 months or so - and none of it every really "counting?"

    5) Would you have preferred Star Wars just died after 6 films?

    6) If you owned Star Wars, would you like it if somebody like Tim Zahn could come along and write something a large segment of fans would like, and have it pay you royalties from his sales, just because you owned it? (Not having to do any work yourself?) So would you allow there to be an EU if you were on the receiving end of the paycheck (and it even spawns action figures, and further fandom and discussion of your original movies)?

    7) What would've made it more exciting in your opinion? Did you read

    • Darth Maul: Shadow Hunter
    • Labrynth of Evil
    • Cloak of Deception
    • Darth Bane: Path of Destruction
    • Han Solo - Paradise Snare, Hutt Gambit, Rebel Dawn?


    These are some of my recommendations and I think they are better than Tim Zahn's Heir to the Empire stuff in many respects.

    I did not care too much for the Tales Of format, though some stories were quite good but included in an anthology with some of the worst ones as well.

    8) Yes, Rogue Planet and Approaching Storm were not highlights of the EU at all. I read everything eventually. I like to read and I love new Star Wars instead of the same old movies (they're nice to come back to when I'm in the mood of course). But why not take the opinion of which ones are the good ones from your fellow friends on the board. I'd never recommend you read anything by Barbara Hambly or Vonda McIntyre for example! But James Luceno rocks (though Dark Lord was not his best outing).

    9) If you got to write for Star Wars, do you understand that you can't kill main characters for the most part? Darth Vader dies in ROTJ and nothing changes there. So if you want to tell an interesting story, you'd need to invent Roan Shryne (Dark Lord) and have your readers care about the Jedi before killing him off or extending a series about him should you wish to do sequels were he to get a fan following (like Quinlan Vos)? So what's your take on whether Roan Shryne, who anything could happen to, or Darth Vader, is more interesting for a novel if you were writing it?

    10) What role do you see Star Wars playing for you in the future? If you get bored of new stuff, will you sell everything and "quit?" Will you keep what you have, because it once brought you joy and has (and may have in the future) value for you, but you don't need to continue the obsession? Will you instead continue to rapidly buy everything (maybe even get one of those mailboxes ) because it's a habit now and you literally cannot wait for Mace Windu's 17th resculpt from Hasbro? Is finding and collecting more fun for you, or is indulging in the fantasy somehow (video games, building scenes with loose figures, the ocassional comic or book)? What do you think?

    There are no right and wrong answers. I just would like to hear your thoughts (Slicker's too some day, as he is very anti-EU himself and might've just read the wrong books - I'd be discouraged too if all I had to go on was Approaching Storm, Rogue Planet, and so forth). Those books were really hard-marketed and unfortunately the better ones weren't that I'm aware of. I remember an endcap in the book department of Target pushing Rogue Planet. I bet many people who'd never read a SW book went for that, and should they have not been able to tolerate it, never would have ventured into Labrynth of Evil - to their mistake.

    So bonus quetion: don't you think it makes a difference which books you read?
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  9. #9
    Check out the Medstar duology, RB. Even if you don't like it, Barriss is really hot on the cover to the second one.
    Tommy, close your eyes.

  10. #10
    I'll play along even though I am not Rocketboy.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tycho View Post
    Rocketboy - very good and honest answers. I want to continue the discussion with you with 10 questions. Note it's a discussion, not really an argument, but you also know I love to debate things and can't stand leaving any stoned unturned. It's just me.

    1) So did you continue reading NJO after Chewie was killed? A lot of it was pretty drawn out, but things like Anakin Solo's death had major impact on the characters and made it continue to fascinate me.
    I didn't read any of the NJO because I knew they killed Chewbacca, a decision I really disagreed with.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tycho View Post
    2) Also, do you think that these characters, in their early 20's (save for Han in his early 30's) in the OT, could continue living out their lives as dangerously as they did in the flims for another 20 years or so, and none of them get themselves killed? In my opinion, killing somebody was realistic.
    I think that it may as well have said, "And they lived happily ever after" at the end of Return of the Jedi. I think they earned their happy ending over the course of the original trilogy and I don't like authors mucking it up. As to your comments on realism, I don't seek that kind of realism in Star Wars. For instance, I find it pretty impossible to believe that Luke became as talented as he was given his short time training with Ben in A New Hope and Yoda in Empire. I imagine he couldn't have held a candle to Vader's near life time of the ways of the Force. But I just accepted it. I don't expect someone to die in Star Wars simply because it is realistic.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tycho View Post
    3) Also, two trilogies set a pattern for Star Wars focusing on characters in their early 20's and early 30's (Luke, Leia, Han), (Anakin, Padme, Obi-Wan). Do you think it would hold the readers' interest to focus on 40-50-somethings in the future (again, with no tragedy ever really touching them?)
    I don't think they should have had post-Jedi stories.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tycho View Post
    4) Would you have preferred there being no continuity? That is a new story about Luke in his 20's published every 3-6 months or so - and none of it every really "counting?"
    I didn't mind the Tales of stories, Shadows of the Empire, the stories of a young Han Solo, stuff that filled in some blanks of the original trilogy. (Though some of it was hit and miss.)

    Quote Originally Posted by Tycho View Post
    5) Would you have preferred Star Wars just died after 6 films?
    I would have preferred Star Wars was left to three movies as I don't think Lucas intended to have Episodes I-III when he wanted to call A New Hope Episode IV (listen to the A New Hope audio commentary). Episode IV was just to imply we were coming in on a story that was already going, not something we were supposed to see all of. Star Wars would have been better left as well loved trilogy. It isn't better to add additional stories if those stories are not as good as the original story you are expanding upon.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tycho View Post
    6) If you owned Star Wars, would you like it if somebody like Tim Zahn could come along and write something a large segment of fans would like, and have it pay you royalties from his sales, just because you owned it? (Not having to do any work yourself?) So would you allow there to be an EU if you were on the receiving end of the paycheck (and it even spawns action figures, and further fandom and discussion of your original movies)?
    No, I'd just enjoy the piles of money I had from my movies and effects factory and merchandising (other than books).

    Quote Originally Posted by Tycho View Post
    7) What would've made it more exciting in your opinion? Did you read

    • Darth Maul: Shadow Hunter
    • Labrynth of Evil
    • Cloak of Deception
    • Darth Bane: Path of Destruction
    • Han Solo - Paradise Snare, Hutt Gambit, Rebel Dawn?


    These are some of my recommendations and I think they are better than Tim Zahn's Heir to the Empire stuff in many respects.

    I did not care too much for the Tales Of format, though some stories were quite good but included in an anthology with some of the worst ones as well.
    I didn't read the ones you listed. I would have been content with Star Wars being three movies and no books.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tycho View Post
    8) Yes, Rogue Planet and Approaching Storm were not highlights of the EU at all. I read everything eventually. I like to read and I love new Star Wars instead of the same old movies (they're nice to come back to when I'm in the mood of course). But why not take the opinion of which ones are the good ones from your fellow friends on the board. I'd never recommend you read anything by Barbara Hambly or Vonda McIntyre for example! But James Luceno rocks (though Dark Lord was not his best outing).
    That isn't really a question, but I would say that I can absorb other non-Star Wars fiction without needing the Lucas merchandising money train to keep trotting out a bunch of new Star Wars books. I'm none too excited about the TV show either. Lucas keeps saying his life was side tracked by Star Wars and he has all these other stories he wants to tell and can't wait to tell. But then he decides to do a Star Wars TV show (which I bet he ends up directing and writing all of because no one can do it like him) and decides to make Indy IV. I'm not sure I believe he has other stories to tell. If so, I wish he'd tell them instead of making more Star Wars stuff over and over.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tycho View Post
    9) If you got to write for Star Wars, do you understand that you can't kill main characters for the most part? Darth Vader dies in ROTJ and nothing changes there. So if you want to tell an interesting story, you'd need to invent Roan Shryne (Dark Lord) and have your readers care about the Jedi before killing him off or extending a series about him should you wish to do sequels were he to get a fan following (like Quinlan Vos)? So what's your take on whether Roan Shryne, who anything could happen to, or Darth Vader, is more interesting for a novel if you were writing it?
    I don't want to write Star Wars, but I wouldn't dream of killing off main characters. All the young characters - Luke, Leia, Han, and their cute pals 3P0, R2, and Chewie survived the original trilogy. Lando survived. The only characters who died were from the old era (Ben, Yoda, Anakin) or were evil. And that formula worked just fine for me. They didn't have to kill Han to make the original trilogy great for me. I say any writer can make something interesting by killing someone; the challenge is to keep telling interesting stories without killing the principals. Batman never kills Joker in the comics, none of the villains ever kill Alfred, so a good writer has to come up with a way to keep that story interesting.

    And by the way, Roan Shryne is not as interesting as Darth Vader. I'd rather read a long book about Vader picking out items from a catalogue than read a book about the adventures of some Jedi I don't know.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tycho View Post
    10) What role do you see Star Wars playing for you in the future? If you get bored of new stuff, will you sell everything and "quit?" Will you keep what you have, because it once brought you joy and has (and may have in the future) value for you, but you don't need to continue the obsession? Will you instead continue to rapidly buy everything (maybe even get one of those mailboxes ) because it's a habit now and you literally cannot wait for Mace Windu's 17th resculpt from Hasbro? Is finding and collecting more fun for you, or is indulging in the fantasy somehow (video games, building scenes with loose figures, the ocassional comic or book)? What do you think?
    I will continue to enjoy the movies and the toys. (I'd prefer the prequels hadn't been made and think they are flawed, but do enjoy them a great deal) I reserve judgment on the TV show.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tycho View Post
    There are no right and wrong answers. I just would like to hear your thoughts (Slicker's too some day, as he is very anti-EU himself and might've just read the wrong books - I'd be discouraged too if all I had to go on was Approaching Storm, Rogue Planet, and so forth). Those books were really hard-marketed and unfortunately the better ones weren't that I'm aware of. I remember an endcap in the book department of Target pushing Rogue Planet. I bet many people who'd never read a SW book went for that, and should they have not been able to tolerate it, never would have ventured into Labrynth of Evil - to their mistake.

    So bonus quetion: don't you think it makes a difference which books you read?
    It does make a difference which books you read. I enjoyed the novelizations (somewhat), the Tales of, and Shadows of the Empire. I thought Dark Lord was lame. There is and can be good Star Wars fiction. But I don't want all these terrible stories out there which people can point to as Star Wars and which they can claim is canon. In my mind, Chewbacca didn't die, but obviously in the eyes of the public he did. I'd have preferred the public just have what we all assumed after Jedi - and they lived happily ever after. In short, where Star Wars books and comics are concerned the bad far outweighs the good and the manner in which the overall story is compromised by the bad is not worth the occasional or possible gem.

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